There is one type of food which will never feature on a menu served to the Royal Family, and that is shellfish. The world of the royals can sometimes be a strange one with their internal customs and rules seemingly governing a large part of their lives. These rules go beyond simply what a royal should wear when out on official business – they even control what food the royals should eat.
One of the foods that is reportedly prohibited for members of the Royal Family is shellfish.
Until recently it was not entirely clear why this was the case, with former royal chef Darren McGrady telling the Telegraph rather cryptically that royals were not allowed to eat certain foods in public including shellfish and foie gras (goose liver pate) because they are too “risky”.
This has been interpreted in a number of ways, with some people thinking that the prohibition on ‘risky’ shellfish is to do with its reputation for being a source of food poisoning if not cooked properly or not being fresh.
This was eventually confirmed by former royal butler and etiquette expert Grant Harrold who told Express.co.uk: “When dining, the Royal Family has to be careful with shellfish due to shellfish poisoning, due to their work schedules.
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“Therefore you will not normally find this on the royal menu.”
Queen Elizabeth II has a list of foods that have been passed down to family members with the warning to avoid eating them when overseas or at state functions.
While some of these reasons are to avoid “mess” and embarrassingly smelly breath, others have a more serious reason why they must be left off the menu.
In his 2005 book Royal Transport, author Peter Pigott revealed that lobster is off the menu.
He states the reason for this is more to do with good health than personal taste.
“Women’s magazine report that she does not like shellfish or lobster,” the author wrote. “More a precaution against an upset stomach than personal preference.”
In a similar vein, Royal Family members are also encouraged to avoid eating rare meats and tap water.
Indeed, these are also foreign food items that can leave tummies gurgling in unfortunate circumstances.
However, according to the BBC, the Queen also bans some dinner time favourites for less life-threatening reasons too.
While spaghetti and tomato pasta might well be one of Italy’s most popular dishes, in 2000 her majesty axed the dish from any of her personal menus.
Chefs at the Italian palace the Queen and her husband were staying at were also asked to avoid garlic in any dishes.
Spaghetti and tomato sauces are deemed as “messy” and could carry the risk of ruining the Monarch’s appearance while dining.
Meanwhile, garlic carries a rather embarrassing side effect.
Garlic is infamous for causing bad breath, something the Royal Family member would hope to avoid when meeting numerous international cohorts.
Luckily, there are some foods that are given the seal of approval when flying.
One item the Queen is known to always pack in her suitcase is a few bottles of Malvern water.
Former Royal Spokesperson Dickie Arbiter revealed: “The only thing the Queen requests to have wherever she is, is Malvern Water.
“She likes Malvern water, it’s refreshing and they usually take lots of it with her.”